4 tricks and traps of the 485 visa you should be aware of
1. Applying for an AFP Check before visa lodgment
While for most other visas the Department of Home Affairs (‘the Department’) can accept police checks that are applied for after a visa application is lodged, the “the time of application” criteria is applied stringently in 485 visas. Applicants are required to have applied for an AFP check during the 12 months immediately before the application is lodged.
In Rahim v Minister of Immigration & Anor (2018) FCCA 1814, the applicant had applied for an incorrect police check and submitted a copy of it at the time of his visa lodgment. Upon realising his mistake, the applicant applied for an AFP through the correct website and submitted a copy of his AFP to the Department. Rahim’s application was refused on the basis that he did not meet Regulation 485.213.
You should apply for your AFP check well in advance of lodging your visa and ensure that you are applying for the correct police check.
2. Must have English test results before visa lodgment
If you do not hold a passport from United Kingdom, USA, Canada, New Zealand or Republic of Ireland, you will need to complete an English test.
The Migration Regulations requires that a 485 visa application be accompanied by evidence that the applicant has completed and achieved the required English score. Ensure that you not only have sat for an English test but have received a copy of your results before lodging an application.
3. Successful Skills Assessment can be provided after lodgment
You are not required to have a successful skills assessment at the time of lodging your visa application but must be able to provide evidence that you have applied for one. Ensure that you keep a copy of the acknowledgement and reference number from the relevant skills assessing authority.
4. Answer questions correctly!
When filling out the visa application form, ensure that you answer each question carefully as a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to certain questions could lead to a visa refusal.
The Department’s website lists the documents required for a 485 visa application but does not specify clearly whether certain documents can be provided before or after lodgment. Many applicants have fallen into the traps of the 485 visa resulting in visa refusals due to a lack of understanding of the requirements. To avoid this, we recommend that you have all relevant documents ready prior to lodgment.
Not sure if you meet the criteria for the Sc485 visa? Book a consultation with us and we’d be happy to guide you.